British School at Rome Drawings

In September 2004 I moved to Italy to take up the Sainsbury Scholarship in Painting and Sculpture at The British School at Rome. During my MPhil I had also developed a digital archive of images taken from various sources which served to both inform and accompany my practical and written work. Once in Rome I took this further, developing this working practice into the paper museum, an ongoing project that collects, sorts and catagorises objects collected in the form of their representation.

During my MPhil I had examined cloud as a device in visual representation, and how often it serves to form a link between the realms of the earth and heaven . I became interested in the way artists, particularly of the baroque period, have approached the problem of representing through physical means- whether in paint, sculpture or even architecture- the felt experience of a communication with the unseen and unseeable. While in Italy I took every opportunity to visit churches, monuments and collections, looking at the modes and methods employed in the representation of both visual experience and imagination.

Imaginary Feminine
3 of 18
pencil on paper
60x80cm
May 2005

Shortlisted Jerwood Drawing Prize 2005
In this series I used femininity as a case study in an attempt to draw an idea of something, rather than the thing itself, while making use of style and a given media. This simple strategy opened up a new and productive way of working, and an extensive body of new work.

His and Hers (I & II)
graphite on paper
70x50cm
April 2005

Double
(To be seen as a single image with doubled vision)
13 and 15 of series of 18
21x29cm
collage
May 2005

In this series I was again testing the possibilities of double vision. I’d found that identicle shapes were more stable to hold when viewed as a single image with double vision, and so collected found images cut to the same size and shape to try the effectiveness of various combinations. I found that even quite different images formed some sort of stereo percept, remeniscent of a view through binoculars. The images’ size, shape and arrangement correspond approximately to pair of eyes.

Imaginary Feminine
16 of 18
pencil on paper
6ox80cm
May 2005

Purchased by The British Museum January 2006

1 and Another 1
(left drawn, right traced with crossed eyes)
pencil on cartridge
29x42cm
May 2005

Imaginary Woman
from series of 20
pencil on paper
30x50cm
May 2005

Right Copies Left
1 and 7 of series of 8
(left drawn, right traced with eyes crossed)
ink on paper
33x24cm
May 2005

These drawings were made as part of an exploration into the nature of double vision. I first made a simple drawing on the left of the page, then crossed my eyes so that I saw a pair of images. I held this view, and traced the ‘phantom’ image where it appeared to the right, creating a weak, awkward echo of its confidently drawn original.

Foothills (Inverted)
map, banana skin
dimensions variable
February 2005

While browsing through a folder of prints in a second hand shop in Rome I came across this large map of the Piedmont region in northern Italy. It was upside-down in its folder, and I noticed that the mountain range that it depicted appeared to turn inside out, as you can see in the pair of images to the right. Its peaks became ravines, its valleys became rounded hills with rivers running incongruously along their backs. I made use of this peculiar phenomena in this piece. With the original, factual information turned inside-out the transformed map shows a fictional, impossible landscape. The mistake in perception is only noticeable on close inspection, but it is still somehow impossible to see the true mountains even then. The banana formed a sort of pun, an unexpected cue for the observer to watch their step before the map tripped them up.

Meteorite, Falling
(detail right)
meteorite, pencil on paper
50x70cm
May 2005
10 of 10.